The prestigious publishing house Berghahn Books has published Michael Rauhut's new book.
For all of its apparent simplicity – a few chords, twelve bars, and a supposedly straightforward American character – blues music is a complex phenomenon with cultural significance that has varied greatly across different historical contexts.
"One Sound, Two Worlds" examines the development of the blues in East and West Germany, demonstrating the multiple ways social and political conditions can shape the meaning of music.
Based on new archival research and conversations with key figures, this comparative study provides a cultural, historical, and musicological account of the blues and the impact of the genre not only in the two Germanys, but also in debates about the history of globalization.
Extracts from reviews:
"Rauhut proves himself to be a true specialist with outstanding expertise. … While blues music, in terms of commercial appeal and audience is certainly a marginal music, the insights provided by this book are universally applicable to any form of popular music. For anyone seeking a basic understanding of blues music in Germany, Rauhut's study is indispensable." (American Studies)
"Michael Rauhut deserves credit for having produced a comprehensive and profound presentation of the history of the blues in both German states. Nobody dealing seriously with the deeper questions on African American music in Germany – as well as in Europe generally – would pass this book by. For that reason, this book can look forward to a large readership." (Clio-online)
"If books were reviewed in the same way as CDs, this one would be lit up with six stars. It's as good as it gets." (Blues News)
Michael Rauhut's book is a masterpiece; a latest source study demonstrating mature, lifelong research. … analytically sharp and substantial." (Detlef Siegfried, Professor of Modern German and European History, University of Copenhagen)